Category Archives: emotionality

Grateful For Hope

Hope is such a great feeling! Hope may be expressed in multiple ways:

  • Hope is often linked to a belief that something good may happen.
  • Hope is sometimes a feeling of a wonderful expectation for the future.
  • Hope implies something good will occur immediately or soon.
  • Hope is possibility.
  • Hope is positivity.
  • Hope is optimism.
  • Hope springs eternal is an old proverb linked to human nature.
  • Hope may be tied to something small like winning a ball game, passing a test, or to something deeply spiritual through prayer and/or meditation.
  • Hope has just four letters, but is such a nice little word with the lightly tapped “p” sound your lips make as you say the word.
  • Hope begins with the pushing out of your breath as you say the “h” which reminds us of “flow” of “air” as you exhale during breath work.

What a great concept – HOPE! Be grateful today for HOPE!

#gratitudeultra

Finding Gratitude in Belonging

I am currently engaging in significant rounds of multiple chemotherapies in order to save my life. This is a new experience for me. BUT, what is most impressive right now are the various people who are stepping up to help me! I am so grateful for their kindnesses. They are driving me to appointments, bringing food, offering to clean my home. We are engaging in meaningful and deep conversations together by phone, text, email, and/or in person. People are serving on standby for whatever I might need. WOW! This outpouring of good will from so many different people is touching my heart daily. Of course my family and dear friends are near and always helpful, but people I do not know very well are genuinely assisting me regularly. Since I am an introvert this is a new experience for me.

I feel such gratitude to all these people and want to let them know how much they are helping me!

This concept/feeling of Belonging is wonderful! We all belong to many different groups of people during our lifetimes: family, friends, neighbors, professional associations, churches, community groups, social media groups, friends of family’s friends, post readers, artist groups, groups of persons with disabilities, sports groups, and strangers we meet at various medical appointments etc.

My sincere gratitude and peace of mind these days is emerging through belonging to these groups!

Belonging is the best medicine!

Belonging is causing me to heal, feel great joy, and deep gratefulness.

I know I am not alone on this journey. I belong!

Thanks everyone for going with me to the unknown. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

#gratitudeultra

Tending to My Garden, Hair, and Fur – With Gratitude

Plants need pruning regularly so they will product beautiful blooms. Some dogs need haircuts so they may see and stay healthy. As for me, in order to have good health, I have to suffer hair loss. So, this week it seems my theme is cutting, in a positive way.

It feels hard to find gratitude when losing one’s hair, but I try to look past the hair to hope for health. When gardening, I reflect upon the cutting of the plant to make it grow. I liken the cutting of each plant stem to targeting each tumor, newly growing within me.

My little dog’s fur was covering his face and eyes and was beginning to look like a mop on top of his head. He seems much cooler and happier with his recent haircut. I love to feel the softness of his warm fur when I hug him.

In summary, this week I am finding happiness through gardening, hair, and fur. It is these little instances of life that give me joy. Always be grateful!

#gratitudezero

Begin YOUR Climb to a Joyful Life on #MicheltorenaHeartStairs, With Gratitude

My dear friend introduced this hidden staircase in Los Angeles, in the Silverlake neighborhood, as I set new goals for my life. Standing at the bottom of the staircase, I noted there were 40 steps to the top. The number 40 is a special number for life, so my goal is to move up the staircase one step at a time as I reach new goals.How ’bout YOU? I encourage you to climb for joy as well.

Those of you following my postings know that I believe in serendipity. As we drove away from the #Micheltorena neighborhood, we talked about all the special relationships we discovered during our visit. For example:

  • Soon I will have a procedure to insert a #port near my HEART! How lovely to see the #hearts on the stairs as well as to climb up the #HEARTSTAIRS! So cool!
  • If one reflects upon this location from a SPIRITUAL perspective, you might focus on the number 40, and recall one story of Jesus who was alone for 40 days before he was crucified. Now I am focusing on 40 day events, whether scriptural, social, weather related etc. I have found that when alone, I reflect on life deeply and find peace. As I am about to begin chemo, deep reflection is my thing these days.
  • Importantly, because of the visit to the #HeartStairs, I am making a list of 40 objectives for health and life to build a bucket list. Starting on such today…
  • If one visits this neighborhood as a SOCIAL goal, you will learn that this spot is nearly the most posted photo on social media (#Instagram). Something HERE is very special and attractive, drawing people to this space. I wonder why?
  • As a dog lover, I enjoyed a cup of coffee at the #MuddyPawCoffeShop in Silverlake, a couple of shops down from the #HeartStairs. Their motto is, #Have A Cup, Save A Pup. The proceeds from all purchases at this coffeeshop help to rescue pups. See the photos below which capture the lovely outdoor dining area for owners and their dogs. How wonderful, at least I think so, to find a special spot for me and my pup!

So,… I invite you to check out this location online or in person. Join with me as we climb to our joyful lives in the future.

As always, BE GRATEFUL and LIVE YOUR LIFE to the FULLEST!

#MuddyPawCoffeeShop #HaveACupSaveAPup #SilverlakeCA #LosAngeles

#gratitudeultra

Grateful for Stained Glass Art

Here is a sketch of an image of stained glass with brilliant bright blues and yellows and images. I am looking for this image in religious stained glass art work sites, museums, old churches, and/or paintings. Has anyone seen this work? If so, please help me find it.

This week I am so blessed to have family, friends, neighbors and amazingly supportive people near me as our summer winds down and the fall approaches. Life is good. I hope you enjoy each day and give gratitude.

#gratitudeultra

Grateful For Wisdom When Ending The Journey Of Life: An Overview

I have always loved elderly people because they are wise and have wonderful stories to tell, if you listen. Unfortunately, we often get too busy during our own life’s journey to notice that older persons among us need more care from us. It is as though our journeys through life demand extra care when we begin our life, and again when we are nearing the end-of-life.

This posting includes my observations for you as a daughter, mom, friend, and health care professional regarding End-of-Life Care.

It is well known that people tend to like to stay at home as their journey through life comes to an end, but that is not always possible because of health issues, personal care needs, nutritional requirements, family distances, and so on. So, as we all age, the questions before us are: “What do we do?” “How do we plan for ourselves as we grower older and need extra care?”

Why am I posting this information for us today? Because I have watched my younger sister, my mom, and my dad pass away. Now I am watching dear friends and neighbors age, and I myself am growing older. As I was recently listening to Amanda Stead’s lecture on End-of-Life Care, I felt so grateful that Amanda reminded me, and helped me to summarize the wisdom we all have access to for our own planning:

  1. We are all going to die at the end of our life journey, so how does one prepare for the best end of life? There are multiple resources to inform us about end-of-life care just as there is knowledge regarding beginning life, as in birth, parenting, etc.
  2. As each of us, or our family members and friends age, it is important to learn about choices we each have regarding Hospice care, or Palliative care. Our choices do not need to be permanent as our health and care needs will change over time, but it is better to plan ahead and learn about such choices before being faced with an emergency.
  3. As one ages there needs to be decisions regarding independence, dignity, spiritual preferences, psychological, emotional needs, ethical decisions, and personal wishes.
  4. We all need to have people (family members or friends), who are our spokespeople in case we are unable to communicate clearly. We, or others, need to have an advanced directive (a written document) regarding our wishes for end-of life care.
  5. We all need to discuss realistic outcomes as we anticipate what may be coming in our future. Thus, before you become ill or lose the ability to communicate, you need to talk about what you imagine to be a good plan for your End-of-Life. You might begin such conversations by answering the question: “What matters to me most at the end of life is ______________________________________?”
  6. Sharing information is so important during this time. Information regarding your location preferences for where you wish to be as you grow older is important. Your financial costs, insurance coverage, wish for pain control, treatment preferences for eating, feeding, and swallowing should be identified.
  7. Your personal wishes, and cultural values are important and necessary to understand and honor during this time period.
  8. Reach out to Chaplains, Priests, Pastors, and Rabbis to incorporate your spiritual needs during these times of decision making.
  9. Take care of the above types of decisions before you grow too old for such planning. Make sure you share your thoughts with your family and friends.
  10. Know there is a “Dying Patient’s Bill of Rights”, and an abundance of resources provided through Medicare to assist you. Don’t put off till tomorrow what you should do today!

In the future, I plan to introduce a new “gratitude category” regarding end-of-life care as I am so grateful that information is available to me to provide for my dignity, spiritual, medical, psychological, and emotional needs as I grow older. In the context of generational differences in perception, as well as societal changes in our family constellations, it is more important than ever before to allow the elderly to prioritize their needs for independence as well as dependence on others.

I am grateful for knowledge regarding end-of-life care. How ’bout you?

For a spiritual perspective on End-Of-Life, let me conclude this blog with a poem written and read by my mother from her Book of Poetry titled, A House Inside of Me. The relevant poem for today is, I Don’t Want to Die I Like It Here. When you click on this link you will hear this poem. It seems relevant, in a more personal style of writing, to our topic today.

At this time in your life, What Matters Most to you for Planning? Please think about it as I am watching friends dealing and struggling with these issues right now.

#gratitudelite

Grateful For Thoughtfulness

It seems like people are unsettled these days with so many life issues facing all of us: prices are increasing, tensions are escalating with the War, the pandemic is still lurking around us, political differences of opinion are constantly played out on the news, and other stresses generally surround us. Within these various situations, when I observe moments of “thoughtfulness” between strangers as well as friends and family, I appreciate seeing such gestures between fellow human beings.

Today, I would like to encourage each of us to smile at someone you don’t know, to say “hello” and “thank you” more often, to open doors for someone whose arms are full of groceries or their children, to send a kind text to at least three people, to buy a cup of coffee for a friend, to invite an elderly person near you to chat for a bit, to allow a stranger who asks to pet your dog, and to ask a family member or friend if they need your help.

I believe if we are each a little more thoughtful towards other persons and their potential needs, it will create a bit of peace and calm around us, if even for a moment. Do you agree?

#gratitudelite

Grateful I May Alter My Attitude

I can alter my life by altering my attitude. He who would have nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers.

Henry David Thoreau

As I continue to watch the horror on TV of women and children caught up in a war, my heart is breaking and I offer prayers, but the tears flow as I watch and watch and watch…

Today I decided to listen to a video duet of Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife, Olena posted by a friend following Liz Dhein Fiore. I do not know if they are really singing the song “Endless Love” but it looks and sounds real and that happy time depicted made me feel happy for a moment. I also began to watch the 2015 TV series on Netflix in which Zelenskyy played a high school history teacher who became president. Who would have predicted that seven years later parts of that series would become true?

I do not ever remember a time when I have watched so many people around the world be so helpful to others. I feel such pride in the humanity I see against the ugly actions captured by film crews daily. The human drama we are watching makes one nearly look away…

To alter my attitude after a brief glimpse at the TV screen I searched for some favorite songs and started a playlist to create the feelings of flowers all around me in contrast to the thorns on TV. Of course I love the duet described above, and also I love Eres Tu by Mocedades, Jose Maria Napoleon (Official music video, July 31, 2020), and I love the song from the movie Coco: Remember Me on Netflix on August 1, 2019. I wish I could include such here for all of you to enjoy as well. Perhaps I will learn to link these songs with permission some day.

In the meantime, I want you to know that you may also alter your attitudes through “gratitude” for whatever makes you feel joyful, hopeful, or helpful in your life.

I invite you to share your gratitude with others as we suffer through this terrible period in our collective histories. Blessings to all.

With gratitude, Mary

#gratitudeultra

Gratitude for Power, Hope, and Optimism in a Song

As I watch the horror of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, I am deeply moved by the people singing. So often during times of despair throughout history we hear “group sing”, i.e., we saw people singing together in Italy across their balconies, through activism when marching during civil rights, after terrible tragedies of bombings or mass shootings, as well as when inspired by grand speeches in town squares.

What is it, I wonder, about “the Song” to bond people together, to give promise, to inspire in the face of hopelessness?

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Guide to Gratitude

Let me express my sincere gratitude to each of you for continuing to follow my “Guide to Gratitude” through gratitudesquared.com. The featured image above is my hand drawn idea for this site that I sketched in February of 2021 when this site was launched.

I selected the term “gratitudesquared” because I believe that “gratitude” is multiplied when shared and experienced, and such has certainly been the case through this site. To date, after 174 posts, 6,759 views, and with 3,004 different visitors, and 128 followers throughout 64 countries, we (you with me) are sharing “gratitude” around us wherever we may live. I am so deeply touched by your comments, emails, texts, and conversations with me. Thank you.

If you look at my hand drawn idea above, you will see that when one gives “gratitude to another” it is a gentle exchange, a gift, something great or grand, may be God sent through all his/her glory, when two or more people gather together.

Further, that act of “giving gratitude” is often gleeful, gracious, grounded in some emotion, may cause growth on each other’s part, may be compared and contrasted with growing a garden of gratitude, and may be overseen and sent by God from one to another to accomplish a known or unknown purpose or goal.

Just think about that!

Gratitude is a free gift that we exchange with each other!

What have we learned about “Gratitude” within only one year? We have learned that gratitude is deeply personal and also shared. Gratitude may be fleeting or long lasting. Gratitude may be serious or fun. Gratitude stems from our moral values at times, but also emerges from momentary pleasure at other times.

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